Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mike Nichols on great movie acting

“Movie acting was invented less than 100 years ago--movie acting with sound. You know how Harold Bloom says that Shakespeare invented us? It’s a fascinating idea, and you can go quite far with it. You could say that it’s in talking movies that inner life begins to appear. You can see things happen to the faces of people that were neither planned nor rehearsed. This is what Garbo was such a master of: actual thoughts that had not occurred before that particular take. And you can see this taking tremendous leaps with Brando and Clift and then with Streep.”

More in “Mike Nichols, Master of Invisibility”

PLUS: “To be an actor is to want to visit those dark places, the scary parts [within us]. I use it as my therapy, as a place to exercise things that in my real life I would never want ever to have to deal with”--the great Streep Inside the Actor's Studio [part 1 of five clips]. A fascinating interview and self-appraisal, with pictures, film clips and precious tidbits--e.g., she got into the Yale School of Drama by auditioning as Blanche Dubois, and she herself wrote her character's final scene in Kramer vs. Kramer (for which she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar).

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